Ceropegia Woodii is a popular houseplant worldwide and known internationally as “chain of hearts”, “string of hearts”, or “rosary vine” because its trailing branches resemble a string of beads. Its flowers can capture insects but these are not carnivorous plants.
The plant grows stems that are very long and wiry. They have leaves that are shaped like hearts or arrowheads with a silvery sheen on their upper sides. The flowers can be purple or purplish-white and shaped like tubes. Tubercles that resemble jelly beans or beads develop on the vines, hence the popular name of “rosary”. Once in contact with the soil, these tubercles will spring roots and propagate the plant.
Ceropegia Woodii is found on stony hillsides in southern Africa, mostly in the eastern and western cape. Its natural habitat may stretch as far north as Tanzania on mainland Africa and as far west in the Atlantic Ocean as the Canary Islands. The plant is also found in parts of Madagascar. It produces an abundance of flowers just after the rainy season.
Ceropegia Woodii blooms strongly in late summer and autumn. It may continue to bloom into mid-winter if it is kept in sufficiently warm conditions.
The plant is a species of the genus, Ceropegia that produces over 200 species of vining or shrub plants in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa. It is unknown in the Americas.
This plant thrives in a well-drained sandy soil. It must dry out completely in between watering, as it will rot if over-watered. It is dormant in winter and may droop. But take care not to add fertiliser at this point as it could also cause the plant to rot.
Did You Know?
- The word, “Ceropegia” originates from the Greek “keros” for wax and “pege”, which means stream or fountains.
- Ceropegia Woodii is called the “Bushman’s Pipe” in its native southern Africa.